Maintaining a balanced life while trying to build an art career is very difficult. It's even more difficult when you work a day job or two like I do. It's really funny. I sat down to write some musings on work/life/art balance but ended up experiencing something extremely rewarding to my art practice that made me really feel like it's all worth it.
The most lovely people, Tiffany and Drew, stopped by during open studio hours today. When they first walked in, I had just turned off the lights and had every intention of leaving, but I saw them looking interested at the artwork at the front of the space and hurried to turn the lights back on for them.
I am so, so, so glad that I did - when they gently meandered to my space we had such a lovely conversation! We talked about abstract art, how people interpret art work, and it left me feeling so happy.
Conversations like that make me happy to be an artist.
It is still difficult - I am so guilty of using my "studio time" in my schedule to do laundry, run errands, socialize, or sleep in. I am not by nature a morning person, so as my work week progresses I find myself piling up these small tasks that a more organized morning person might accomplish daily.
I have to prioritize my jobs that pay the bills to keep everything afloat. I find myself rushing to my studio on my lunch break some days, eating my sandwich over my desk while I print out shipping labels or throwing a few details on a work in progress.
Often my studio time doubles as a date -- my wonderful boyfriend James has been known to help my hang new things on my walls, organize the studio, and provide some company and entertainment on long deadline nights. He goes on food runs for me when I am too attached to my desk or easel to be able to take a break. He never complains, but I know it can't be easy to attend to me as a workaholic so I do find myself sacrificing some studio hours here and there to have real quality time.
I guess in the end, I am thankful that though it is a work in progress, I do strive for balance. I am thankful that when I sit down to paint or carve, I do work quickly. I spend so much time percolating that when I am finally at the easel it just pours out. I am thankful that I have a part time job where working on my projects is part of the job description - though I often find myself distracted by other duties so the process is more chip-away than marathon.
Get in touch with me. Tell me about your art practice and your work/life/art balance. I would love to know!